Ryanair To Cut 3,000 Jobs Due To COVID-19 Crisis
Ryanair has said that it plans to cut 3,000 jobs and talk to Boeing about delaying plane deliveries as it does not expect European air traffic to recover fully from the COVID-19 crisis until 2022.
Two weeks ago, Europe's biggest budget airline said that it could make bumper profits in 2021 and had no plans to defer jet orders.
But in an unscheduled update, Ryanair pushed back the start of a return to normal scheduling to July from June and said that it will only fly 50% of planned capacity in the three months to the end of September, which is usually its busiest season.
The airline said that it is now reviewing growth plans and plane orders, and that it is in talks with Boeing and aircraft lessors to cut the number of deliveries over the next 24 months.
"Ryanair now expects the recovery of passenger demand and pricing [to 2019 levels] will take at least two years, to until summer 2022 at the earliest," CEO Michael O'Leary said in the update for investors.
He said that the airline will begin consultations on the closure of bases and up to 3,000 job cuts, mainly pilots and cabin crew.
Ryanair said that it expects a loss of €100 million in the three months to the end of June, which O'Leary said is the first time that the airline has ever suffered a loss in that quarter.
Courts Challenge Plan
O'Leary also said that he plans to challenge in European Courts what he described as more than €30 billion in state aid to a dozen rivals.
He said Ryanair would be "forced to compete with flag carrier airlines who have received €30 billion euros in state aid doping to allow them to sustain below-cost selling for months after this COVID-19 crisis has passed".